Contributions to the 7th AICCM Book, Paper and Photographic Materials Symposium 29g31 August 2012 Brisbane, Australia
The conservation profession is forever evolving, particularly in the area of contemporary art, which continues to present more complex and multifaceted challenges for conservators. At the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) the preparation of works for an overseas touring exhibition brought just some of these interesting challenges to the fore, prompting conservators to reassess the suitability of traditional and standard conservation approaches in the treatment of contemporary artworks. Focusing on a work from the Kaldor collection by Australian contemporary artist Christian Capurro, the paper traces the sequence of events involved in preparing the work for loan and subsequent treatment of the work on its return. Through correspondence and interviews with the artist, the paper also examines the artist’s use of non-traditional materials and techniques. By identifying the role conservators play as both collaborators and facilitators when dealing with contemporary art challenges, the paper also examines the subject of artistic intent, and importance of making it a key priority in all treatment considerations.